Enemies of the Cross

“For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again with tears, many live as enemies to the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things” (Philippians 3:18-19).

Enemies. Destruction. Shame. These words carry a dark and heavy connotation, and you and I are raised to avoid associating with them from a young age. Therefore, when I sat down to write about enemies of the cross, I originally intended to write on the believer’s place in a sinful world: pursue Christ rather than fall into a crowd of enemies who tempt us wayward. I did not make it far before I realized the obvious: I am an enemy of the cross of Christ. My destiny is destruction, my god is my stomach, and my glory is my shame. My mind is set on earthly things. 

Paul had already written to the Romans reiterating the unrighteousness of mankind; all have turned their back on God and are unworthy of redemption (Romans 3:10-11). Because of sin, you and I are natural enemies of the cross and thus deserve the destruction and shame highlighted in chapter 3. While we were still sinners and enemies, God sent the one and only Savior to rescue us from our own punishment. 

Our destiny is destruction. Even so, Jesus was despised and rejected by mankind. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, though He had done no violence (Isaiah 53). 

Our glory is our shame. Even so, Jesus emptied himself by taking the form of a servant (Philippians 2).

Our mind is set on earthly things. Even so, Jesus took on human flesh, felt hunger, knew pain, and was acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53). 

Christ paved the way in which enemies might become daughters and sons. When we pick up our cross each day, this becomes our truth: 

  • A bloodstained cross substitutes destruction with everlasting life.
  • An empty tomb eradicates our shame. We will be presented faultless before the Creator who knit the fibers of our being together.
  • A resurrected Savior means earthly things lose value as we treasure the wonders of heaven in our heart. 

By Bethany Taylor

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